Saturday, 27 April 2013

Portfolio Visit 3

The last portfolio visit I went to was Andrea Lord, who makes beautiful handmade gifts and accessories.

I think that this was the visit I enjoyed the most and one that I got a lot of good advice from. She told me that she really enjoyed looking though my portfolio and thought it had a good flow and wasn't too miss matched. I started by showing he the BMW work and explained how I made the work, she seemed interested in how I created the rubber block prints and thought I was nice to see that I had made and carved the block prints myself. As I was talking though my portfolio she was really impressed that I was a surface designer and that I liked to draw and she was impressed with my drawings, especially the birds and the feathers.
I showed her some of the purses I had made, I was a little nervous because she creates beautiful products to a really high standard, she said that they were great for my first attempt, but showed me how I could improve them even more in just a couple of minutes, she grabbed a knitting needle and just pushed out the corners to square them off and make them more presentable and professional, then she just cut some of loose threads off and told me that now it was fished and looked much more professional and people would buy them. I found this to be really helpful, that if I would have spent a few minutes longer finishing it off it would have looked much better. I also showed he the devore fabric I had made using the skull prints, she loved this and I told her how it would look nice for a scarf, she loved this idea and could see it working, she then said it would look fantastic as a blind as the light would shine through the skulls and create shadows on the wall. She told me that my work could be really commercial especially the skulls because of designers such as Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen, and being commercial isn't a bad thing and she could see people my age range buying the designs and products I had made.
She seemed to enjoy the FMP work, and told me that I should try wrapping paper, and loved all of the colour palettes of my work. She was impressed to see that I had actually made the products myself, and she could see them in person, as some visits she has done in the past they have only mocked them in Photoshop.
I asked he about how she had started, she told me that she had started on small markets, making small amounts of work, no more than five of each item, she did this to get an idea of what would sell and what people are interested in buying.
I found myself talking to Andrea for ages, she seemed really interested and passionate in what I was doing and my work and even asked if I was doing a dissertation and what it was about. She gave me loads of great advice that I will definitely take on board. She said to make the most out of the facilities I have at College, such as the print room. She also gave some some great advice and tips on how to finish my work to a high standard, making tags and stickers and even showed me how she makes and prints them herself.
I really enjoyed talking to Andrea and felt she was really passionate about what she does, she gave me a lot of confidence and made me feel really proud of how far I had come and my work. Although I was dreading these visits I can see why we have to do them, I walked out from this visit feeling proud of what I have achieved in the past three years.

Portfolio Visit 2

For my second portfolio visit I went to Lily Greenwood, I thought that she would be a good person to see because she loves nature and they are reoccurring themes in her work and I found links with her work and my own. Although she is a painter, mainly oil paints, I felt she would be a good person to visit as she applies her designs on bags, badges, and postcards something that I also want to do, so I thought that she would be an ideal person to see with my portfolio.

I started by showing her my BMW work, as apart from the FMP work this was my most recent works, she thought they were rally nice, and liked how I had showed the designs on bags. I also told her how it was a challenging brief as I had to do a lot of research because it was important to look at meanings in Chinese culture. She told me that she liked how for a lot of my work I had focus on folk themes and also liked that I had bought in actual products with me, as this is much better than looking at a photograph. I was talking to her about how I love to print and use different printing methods in my work, she told me that she doesn't have much knowledge of printing however she recommend me to Nell, a surface designer who specialises in printing, however she wasn't there, but I may pop in again next week some time.
I also showed her my most recent work for the FMP, showing her the letter sets I had made and she told me that they were great and could see people buying them and something interesting. 

I also asked her how she started and manage to work up to get her own studio and shop space in the craft centre, she said that she moved into the craft centre one year after graduating, I found this really impressive and showed she had a lot of determination. She told me that she was working in the Whitworth art gallery in Manchester and a couple of other people wanted their own stall or shop, so when they found out there was an available spot at the centre they all went in together and spilt the work equally between them.  
Overall I found Lily to be a great help and gave me some great feedback and advice. 

Portfolio Visit 1

After Christmas we had been given our final brief of the year and part of it was to go on three portfolio visits, as I didn't have much luck last semester, so I thought that this time I would definitely go on them. I had worked on my portfolio for London however didn't manage to show it to anyone we saw, however I did get to talk to a couple of people about my own work and what I am doing for my final brief. I was pleased with how my portfolio looked, as I had really worked on making it look more professional, simple things such as putting a drop shadow box around the photograph to lift it from the page and make it stand out more, and something as simple as changing the text, could really help the portfolio look more professional and presentable.
I knew I wanted to go to the Manchester Craft Centre, as I want to make merchandise and products for my final show and something I want to think about for the future, and I knew that at the Craft Centre would be a great place to show people who do a similar work and would be great to hear their feedback, as it could be really valuable and important.
The first place I went to was Quite Contrary, a beautiful store filled with hand made goods, such as purses, bags, cards and key rings, products that I am really interested in and would love to make using my own designs.

I showed him my portfolio and talked him briefly though the projects and how I had created and made them. In my portfolio I had included some of my favourite pieces of work and the work I felt most confident and comfortable talking about. I included some of my work from the BMW project, some of my Mexican folk and skull work, and finally some of my most recent work with the birds and parrots for my FMP. I had actually bought along some of the products that I had actually made such as note books, writing sets and fabric samples. He thought that the products that I had made were interesting and he could see them being sold and people would be interesting in the and there is a potential market for them. He told me that my designs work well on stationary I that I should definitely stick with it as I am doing well so far. He seemed to be interested in what I had done and how I had create my work.
I also asked him how the company started and how to get into the craft industry, he told me that they had initially started on a small market and stalls, they had started a few years ago on Tib Street in Manchester and it had grown from there on. I also asked about selling online stores such as Etsy, he told me that he does have one, however doesn't use it much as when buying one off hand made items most people much prefer to come into the shop and look at the actual items in person.
I thought that for one of my first portfolio visits it went really well and got some good feedback and advice about how to start.